Note: PLEASE, please check out my ShortForm (which is on my profile). I'm kind of running low on hits this week and I need to somehow get 200 more views before midnight to win the competition for this week. I'd really, really really appreciate the help.
Special Thanks: To the 302 awesome people who were kind enough to help out this week.
Chapter 6: Medical Visits
Hidden behind a stack of thick, dusty tomes, 'Madam Pomfrey' cursed softly under his breath as he sorted through his notes on soul magics. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration. He had not expected it to be this difficult to collect and identify real texts on Horocruxes. He had scoured the entire Restricted Section for information and when that turned out to be useless, he'd decided to see if he could find any relevant myths and legends.
The boy, who was currently desguised as Madam Pomfrey, sighed in despair.
Harry knew he was already working on borrowed time. Sooner or later, Dumbledore would be back for another round of friendly interogation. However, unlike before, the moment Dumbledore released the magical bindings on the 'prisoner'...his spell, the one that disguised a paralyzed, frozen Madam Pomfrey as himself, would dissolve. And within moments, the truth would be out.
The Dark Heir had escaped...
It would have been so easy to simply escape Hogwarts. He could have, days ago, simpily slipped into the Chamber of Secrets and disappear completely. He knew all of his father's bases, even the secrets ones that no one, not even the inner circle were privy to. And then, he would have an unlimited number of help and resources under his disposal to conduct his research.
But alas, even his father's libraries did not compare with the sheer wealth of information that was at Hogwarts.
Gritting his teeth, the boy forced himself to get back to work. He was here to stay...at least until his identity was unveiled. He wanted to revive his father back as soon as possible...and Hogwarts, with its infinite stores of knowledge, was the quickest path to success. Even though it was undoubtedly more dangerous to stay, he would stick it out.
Anything for his father.
'Madam Pomfrey' let out a distinctly unlady-like curse as he felt someone trip the ward leading into the Hospital Wing. Discretely, he spelled all of his information and texts on soul magics to display only medical jargon. Wipping his hands on his apron, the boy forced himself into play and resume his persona as the nurse.
Nate snuck into the hospital wing, silently beckoning a curious Neville to follow him. His heart was pounding loudly against his chest as his gaze was drawn to a distant, covered hospital bed at the end of the room. He could still see in his mind's eye, that flash of dark, emerald green, before the Dark Heir's eyes returned to its original golden color. He knew that it wasn't anything concrete; after all, many people had green eyes...but his heart said otherwise.
His abused brother...
The one who his parents had neglected and sacrificed for him. Nate clenched his fist in anger as he thought back to his conversation with Dumbledore. It made him angry, furious even, to know that his parents had hurt Harry because of a stupid prophecy. It was so shallow...he couldn't believe that his parents had taken it upon themselves to neglect one child just so that they could bask in the fame of the other. It was deplorable that the neglect had gone on for so long. What was worse was that so many people actually knew about his brother's situation, but didn't say a word...claiming that they were doing it for the greater good. That they were doing it to protect him, the Prophecy child...the one who was fated to defeat Voldemort.
It made him furious.
He had sacrificed so much for them. For these foolish, ignorant hypocrites...
He had committed the ultimate sin of the Light. Murder.
Nate's lip curled in disgust.
...and they thought of him as a hero.
It was sickening how wrong the public was. Did they not see that by taking a strike against Voldemort, by murdering him, that they had relinquished their moral ground? That they were now truly no different than Voldemort? It was one thing to defend themselves against attacks; it was a completely different thing to go on the offensive with the intent to destroy. After all, did the Order not initially start rallying against Voldemort because the Dark Lord was murdering people who held a different opinion then he? That they were rallying and fighting for freedom?
His gut churned guilty at the thought.
It was one thing, after all...to defend themselves against an aggressor. It was another to actively go out, seeking to destroy. There was a fine line between justice and simple vengence...and Nate was fairly certain that the Wizarding world as a whole did not see, nor acknowledge it. After all, wasn't slaughtering your enemies - witches and wizards who simply held a different perspective of the world - the exact same thing Voldemort was doing to muggleborns?
Nate shook his head, unwilling to acknowledge the irony.
He lived in a world that both loved yet hated murder.
And he, the Chosen One, was the biggest hypocrite of them all. The true fool of fools.
Nate was jerked out of his thoughts when he felt a wrinkly old hand grab his shoulder. He flinched back, barely managing to avoid crashing into a tray of sharp, particular looking needles and instruments. "M-madam Pomfrey," he greeted hesitantly, when he stared up at the nurse who was looming almost threateningly over him. Nate swallowed his confusion and straightened his shoulders. He would not be cowed by her. Anyone who treated his best friend like crap didn't deserve his respect. "Neville broke his nose," he said quietly. "I wanted to make sure that he'd be okay."
Instead of answering, the nurse simply stared at him.
Nate was struck by how intense and piercing the woman's gaze was.
The woman seemed to shake herself out of her stupor. "Come along then, Mr. Potter," she said, her voice strangely devoid of emotion. "You too Mr. Longbottom."
Resisting the urge to stare at his brother, Harry turned around and idly went through the routines that Madam Pomfrey would - summon her medicine kit, disinfect the bed, and then hustle the patient into it. The boy, Longbottom, was, according to his father's files, a regular at the hospital wing. His hand was shaking as he administered the diagnostic tests and promptly healed the boy's nose.
The last time had had seen him had been during the Last Battle. He had watched, with terror, as his brother destroyed Voldemort...
Alex clenched his teeth, fighting the pain and sorrow that rose at the memory. He had not thought about Nate for such a long time...he hadn't wanted to. It was just too complicated. His brother, whom he had once loved dearly, was the one who has destined to destroy the father that he loved. He had not wanted to chose. He knew it was selfish but he had wanted them both. He had wanted Nate to be alive, but also for Voldemort to be as well.
It was stupid, but he had allowed his loyalties to be divided between the two biggest players in the war.
Nate Potter, his younger brother, and Voldemort, his adoptive father.
Cursing softly under his breath, Alex turned away...barely missed Nate's evaluating stare. "There you are, Mr. Longbottom," he said politely as he gently led the boy to the door, doing his best to play the part of a nurse. "Do try to take care of yourself."
The shy, plump boy nodded, his eyes bright with uncertainty. "Y-yes, Madam Pompfrey," he stuttered, completely at a loss as to why the nurse was suddenly so kind to him. It was almost as if...
Neville came to a halt when Nate suddenly grabbed his arm. He blinked in confusion as he saw the dark, suspicious light in his best friend's eyes.
"Wait," he said, calling out to the quickly departing nurse.
There was a long, tense pause of silence before Nate spoke, asking the question that had been plaguing his and Neville's minds since the start of the visit.
"You're not Madam Pomfrey," he stated. "Who are you?"
Note: If you guys have the time, please check out my ShortForm (the link is on my profile). I really, really need 200 more hits before midnight and I'd really appreciate the help. Thank you!